The Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) says it will construct more hostels at its Bunda campus to ensure that almost all students admitted at the institution have access to accommodation on campus.
The Vice Chancellor Professor George Kanyama Phiri said this Thursday on the sidelines of a tour by the country’s Vice President Saulos Chilima to some reform projects the university is implementing.
The institution is carrying out construction projects of a 212 bed female hostel and a concrete block hostel with a capacity of 240 beds in bunk bed format.
“Through the current projects and future ones, we are aiming at doing away with problems of accommodation by bringing in all the students to the campus,” Kanyama Phiri said adding that there will construct hostels of different qualities with different price ranges for students’ affordability and choice.
Over the years, the intake of LUANAR has increased from 800 to about 5,000 thereby putting pressure on accommodation, teaching and learning facilities.
The Vice Chancellor said the lack of accommodation facilities in most public universities was denying many people opportunities to access tertiary education.
“The absence of hostels is most prohibitive. We are up to 5,000 students yet the accommodation is only for about 1,000 students.
The majority of students look for accommodation in the villages and that is not university life,” Kanyama Phiri said.
He added that the LUANAR intends to bring in more students as it increases the hostel with a target intake of 9,000 by 2020.
Project Manager and Estate Development Officer at LUANAR Chimwemwe Nyirongo said the 212 bed female hostel is worth MK1.3 billion and is being funded by the Norwegian government through Malawi government.
This project started last year on May 11, 2016 and is expected to be completed by 30th September 30, 2016.
The 240 bed concrete block is worth MK138 million and is largely funded by resources generated locally.
“This is LUANAR’s own initiative to address the accommodation challenges through its own resources. The council’s initiative is to improve students’ accommodation because of Bunda’s geographical position being away from town,” Nyirongo said.
The concrete block project, which started on August 17, 2015, is expected to be through by June 30, 2016, according to Nyirongo.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :